2021 Student Workshops

This year, the 2021 JOSIAH MEDIA FESTIVAL is offering student and global audiences of all ages a new and totally online experience of film workshops! From lighting to animation to drone filmmaking, these workshops offer middle and high school students an opportunity to learn craft and production from working media artists. All workshops are also archived on URBAN-15’s Facebook page for 24/7 access.

Workshop #1: Best of Local Josiah Media Festival

As an opening to URBAN-15’s 14th annual Josiah Media Festival, we screen some of the best films produced by local students attending San Antonio high schools and media arts programs. 

Workshop #2: Intro to Drone Filmmaking / Intro to Fantasy Prosthetic FX Makeup

In workshop #2, Adam Dusenbury of White Cloud Drones introduces young viewers to the history and technology of drone filmmaking, while Sergio Guerra of The Darkeness, a local production company, presents tried and true techniques for creating fantasy makeup FX.

Workshop #3: Animation Showcase with Erica Missey

Workshop #3 features Erica Missey, a visual artist who has used drawing as a stepping stone into animation. Missey was a principal animator for the blockbuster animated film Space Jam and currently works as a caricaturist, children’s book illustrator, and drummer/vocalist for the metal/grunge trio Hellgrimm. Tune in for her insights into becoming an animator and for some stellar animated shorts by previous Josiah Media Festival winners.


Animation Software


3dsMax Design



Adobe Animate


Cinema 4D






The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation, Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston

The Animator’s Survival Kit, Richard Williams

Cartoon Animation, Preston Blair

Acting for Animators, Ed Hooks

Timing for Animation, Harold Whitaker and John Halas

Character Animation Crash Course, Eric Goldberg

Frames of Anime: Culture and Image Building, Tze-Yue Hu

Starting Point: 1979-1996, Hayao Miyazaki

Talking Animals and Other People, Shamus Culhane

The Making of Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson

Tips for a Future Animator 

Draw – every day, as often as possible. Draw from life – look at items around you and draw more of WHAT YOU SEE around you, rather than what you see in your imagination. Take life drawing classes and do life drawing sessions with live models when you can. Get familiar with the structure of things. Draw through them. 

Gesture drawing – draw WHAT the item is doing, don’t worry about making a finished, gorgeous, photorealistic painting. Draw quick, rough sketches showing the action of the character. The form should be recognizable by what it’s doing, not tidy details. Gestural drawing portraying the action of a figure is essential to animation.

Learn about the animation processes. The books listed above give some excellent information on all things animation, most especially hand-drawn animation. 

Learn as much as you can about the most widely-used animation software. Learn about what programs are being used by studios today. If you can’t purchase the full programs see if there are trial or student versions available at no or low cost to you.

If you want to make your own animated films, study story writing, script writing, other animation, other films – learn how to tell your story. Learn how to ask for feedback from people that do what you do and lean to take the helpful parts of their criticism to make your stories and drawings stronger. Find artists and writers that you like and study what they do. Why do you like about their work specifically? 

Learn how to storyboard. Learn how to draw out the main scenes (Key frames) of your story to create an outline. Having several key visuals in your story helps to create flow and plot how you want to go from Key frame A, to B, to C, etc. 

Have fun and be patient. Animation is a multi-discipline endeavor that can take a lot of time and hard work to arrive at your finished product. I’ve heard the process of animation is like eating a mountain with a spoon. One bite at a time. You can do it!

Workshop #4: Advanced Prosthetic FX / Live Video Basics with Eric Bosse

  • Join us for Pt II of our fantasy makeup workshop with Sergio Guerra of The Darkness, a local make-up and special effects production company! Learn tried-and-true face painting basics for creating realistic-looking gore, zombie, and sci-fi makeup effects.
  • Then, in “Live Cinema: The Basics,” media artist Eric Bosse demonstrates “VJ” skills, or real-time editing of projected imagery for collaboration with dance, theater and other art forms. The ability to use software to make immediate decisions on what video clip (or media element) to reveal to the audience at any given moment allows for exciting and spontaneous presentations. Media artist Erik Bosse has worked with theater companies, dance ensembles, and in collaboration with site-specific artists to provide video backdrops and interactive projections.



Resolume: https://resolume.com/

Modul8: http://www.garagecube.com/modul8/

GrandVJ: https://vj.arkaos.com/grandvj/about

VDMX: https://vidvox.net/

There is also a video manipulation plugin for the music production program, Ableton (https://www.ableton.com/en/) called VIZZable (http://vizzable.zeal.co/).

Popular MIDI Controllers

Korg nanoKONTROL2: https://www.amazon.com/Korg-nanoKONTROL2-Slim-Line-Control-Surface/dp/B004M8UZS8/

AKAI LPD8: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002M8EEW8/

AKAI APC Mini: https://www.amazon.com/Professional-APC-Bus-Powered-64-Button-Launcher/dp/B00J3ZCVCS/


A good general resource is the VJ community on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/vjing/

Feel free to email Erik Bosse at erikbosse@gmail.com or visit http://erikbosse.com/

Workshop #5: Animation Showcase Pt II / Best Animation Apps for Youth

Catch the second part of a showcase of the best in animated shorts from the Josiah Media Festival, hosted by animator, visual artist, and metal drummer Erica Missey. This showcase also features SAISD middle schooler Asra Garza-Cortez reviewing his favorite free/low-cost apps for aspiring young animators.


Asra’s Top Three Animation Apps

FlipaClip (free and low-cost versions): for Android devices and for iOS devices

Pencil2D (free, for desktop or devices)

Adobe Animate (pricey, but possible to get a free license if parents have access)

Workshop #6: Two and Three-Point Lighting for Interviews / Drone Filmmaking Pt. II

In workshop #6, Dago Patlan of the Film School of San Antonio at Harlandale High School demonstrates best techniques for two- and three-point lighting, especially for use in interviews. We also feature Adam Dusenbury of White Cloud Drones, returning with “A Day in the Life of Whitecloud,” part two of our workshop on drone filmmaking. 

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